Some people love ABS and some loathe it, I’m firmly in the former camp. I broke my arm on my driving test due to an overzealous handful of lever and have no desire to repeat that performance. I know I can’t out-perform the machine, I will never be able to out perform the machine and I certainly can’t when panic-braking in an emergency situation.
The Tiger had all-singing, all dancing, mostly-a-pain-in-the-ass offroad mode traction control and ABS. While the traction control was clearly designed for people who’s idea of going off the beaten track involves going to Cafe Nero instead of Starbucks the front-wheel only ABS mode was rather handy for a ham-fisted rider like myself. So I got the ABS dongle for the 701 Enduro expecting it would work as it does on the 690 where the ABS mode depends on the position of the kill-switch when you turn the ignition on. Kill-switch on, full ABS, switch off front wheel only and full disable with the big button next to the speedo.
Nope. The genius interface designers at Husqvarna decided it would be vastly more convenient that with the ABS dongle connected you get two modes – front wheel only or no ABS at all. Want to switch back to full ABS for some street riding? No problem sir/madam! Just remove your tank bag, loosen one tank bag strap, pop off the two poppers which hold the seat on at the front, pull the cable to release the seat at the back, pull the seat out from under the tank bag holder, dig around your battery box, find the dongle connector, stick a screwdriver in it to release the catch, pull it apart, re-fit the blanking plug you already lost in the garage somewhere, put the seat back on, reattach your luggage properly and ride on. Great design. No hassle at all really. But for some strange reason I decided to install a switch to make the process fractionally more convenient, not that I am suggesting I know better than the master human-machine-interface experts at Husqvarna, of course.
It’s an easy mod, but in the interests of information sharing – here it how it’s done. There are no modifications to the vehicle wiring needed, the only thing you strictly need to modify is the ABS dongle itself, so no warranty issues* or risk of breaking something important**.
Remove your ABS dongle from the OBD port and with the ignition on use a multimeter between earth/neutral and each pin to establish which connector is switched live, as in the picture picture below. Kill the ignition and the voltage should drop to zero. This isn’t strictly necessary if you don’t have a multi meter – all OBD ports on all 701s should be identical, you can probably just follow the instructions here but obviously if you cut the wrong cable it’s not my fault! Or you can use a bulb on a wire.
Once you have established which cable from the OBD port is switched live you can find the corresponding cable on your ABS dongle by comparing the layout of the pins between the OBD port and the dingle connector, on mine it was orange. As above – please don’t just chop the orange one, check it, your cable colours or degree of colourblindness may vary.
Chop this cable and take a brief test ride with the dongle connected, all being well you will get full ABS front and rear, no lights flashing on the dash.
Splice into this cable a two-pole switch, a relay or whatever takes your fancy to control it and locate that switch wherever want. I’m simple, I used a cheap 5 euro automotive switch from Amazon and mounted it on the left hand side of my now fairly crowded headlight box, underneath my Powerlet socket which feeds my tank bag. It’s easy to reach and somewhat protected from the elements. With the switch on (closed) you will get a slow flashing ABS light, indicating front wheel ABS only. With the switch off (open) you will get full ABS as if the dongle isn’t connected. In either mode you can switch ABS off completely with a long press of the ABS light/button.
- *I am not a lawyer. I cannot promise this will not void your warranty. Although if your dealer really tries that shit please tell the world.
- **I am not an engineer. This could break something important. I can’t see how, but it’s theoretically possible.
- Update – 2018. I have relocated the switch to a small bracket near the battery tray, reducing the length of the cable run. I now have a Rade fairing, so may relocate it again into the dash.
- Updates – 2020. Relocated the images from the old blog to here. I’ve also moved the switch into the R/G fairing.